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Vodafone stumps up £1bn for Cable & Wireless Worldwide

Troubled telco gets a reprieve as mobile phone operator swoops in with buyout offer.

contract

Vodafone has offered 1.04 billion to acquire troubled telecoms firm Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW).

The deal will come as a relief to Cable and Wireless Worldwide, which has struggled since splitting from the consumer arm of the company in 2010.

The deal, equating to 38p per share, will come as a relief to C&WW, which has struggled since splitting from the consumer telecoms arm of the company C&W Communications in 2010.

Vodafone did face competition from India's leading telco Tata Communications, which was also bidding for the firm, before dropping out of the race last week just before the bid deadline.

As a result, Vodafone was given an extra four days to finalise its takeover bid, which now stands at 1.04 billion. Despite both sides being happy with the deal, a sentence in the press announcement suggests negotiations with other interested parties might not be over.

The statement read: "Vodafone reserves its right to increase the offer if a third party announces a possible offer or offer for C&WW."

However, for now, Vodafone is happy with the deal, which it hopes will build up the enterprise side of its business.

"The acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide creates a leading integrated player in the enterprise segment of the UK communications market and brings attractive cost savings to our UK and international operations," said Vittorio Colao, chief executive of the Vodafone Group.

"We look forward to working with the management and employees of Cable & Wireless Worldwide to combine our expertise for the benefit of our customers and shareholders."

The deal has received the nod from both sets of board members, but an estimated date for it to be finalised has not been announced.

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